Gov. Lujan Grisham appoints Dr. Arsenio Romero as new head of the Public Education Department
SANTA FE – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham today appointed Los Lunas Superintendent Dr. Arsenio Romero as the Secretary of the Public Education Department. He will begin work on March 6.
“Dr. Romero has been a key education policy partner since the beginning of my administration,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “With his broad range of experience as a teacher, a principal, and superintendent in districts across the state, I have full confidence that he will continue to build innovation and access for New Mexico students. Dr. Romero has the vision and expertise to implement the changes our public education system needs.”
Dr. Romero was born and raised in Belen, New Mexico, and was inspired to pursue a career in education by his mother, a first-grade teacher. He has spent his career focused on ensuring that every student has a high-quality education and an equitable pathway to opportunity and positive outcomes, including being prepared for college and careers.
“I am incredibly honored to be entrusted by Gov. Lujan Grisham and the people of our state with leading the New Mexico Public Education Department,” Romero said. “I have deep roots here and understand the importance of an education that reflects the culture and values of New Mexicans. As a long-time educator and administrator, I am also keenly aware of the work that still needs to be done to make sure that every New Mexico student receives the education they deserve.”
As Secretary, Dr. Romero will focus on academic excellence and successful learning for all students. He and the PED leadership team will support school efforts to deliver a comprehensive and rigorous education for every student and eliminate the educator shortage at every school. Under his direction, the New Mexico Public Education Department will create strong pathways for school staff and educators throughout the state, invest in students’ mental health and well-being and ensure that students have strong pathways to college, a career or service.
Dr. Romero has a well-earned reputation as one of New Mexico’s most dynamic, impactful, and experienced education leaders. He has spent his career serving New Mexico communities as a school and district leader. Prior to his appointment as Secretary, Dr. Romero served as superintendent of Los Lunas Schools and previously served as superintendent of Deming Public Schools as well as Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Transformation at the Roswell Independent School District, where he oversaw the district’s curricula. Since 2013, he has been a lead performance coach for the New Mexico Public Education Department. He started his career in education as an elementary school teacher and principal at Las Cruces Public Schools. He has also taught at New Mexico State University since 2014 and joined the NMSU Board of Regents in 2020.
Dr. Romero has earned recognition as the National Superintendent of the Year by the Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrations and was named the 2021 Administrator of the Year by the New Mexico Association of Elementary Principals. He earned both his undergraduate and Ph.D. from New Mexico State University, along with a master’s degree in educational administration and leadership from the University of New Mexico. His wife, Amber, is also an educator and they have four children.
Throughout his career, Dr. Romero has prioritized intentional collaboration with key stakeholders, most importantly parents, families, students and educators. Through these partnerships, he has led efforts that improved student outcomes, closed equity gaps, and strengthened community relationships.